The Lake Champlain creature, Champ, has been seen near Port Henry for hundreds of years. Cryptozoologists think the creature may be a plesiosaur –a large underwater reptile not seen since prehistoric times. Samuel de Champlain, explorer for whom the lake is named, sighted Champ in July 1609 and described the creature as a "20 foot serpent, thick as a barrel with a head like a horse." Some believe that Champ is a large lake sturgeon.
In 1977, Sandra Mansi photographed Champ while she was having a picnic with friends. This is the best known photograph of Champ...it was published by Time and various other magazines. Champ has been featured on NBC TV's Unsolved Mysteries and Fox Network's Sightings, as well as on Japanese television and The Today Show. It has been the subject of books and hundreds of newspaper articles.
A Champ Sightings Board –at the southern entrance to Port Henry on State Route 9N– lists the names of people who have seen the lake monster. A full-size replica of Champ is situated in the middle of the village and is featured in the annual Champ Day –a festival to honor this local "celebrity" on the first Saturday of August.
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